Ron Paul ties “refused to answer” in California

A new poll in California makes it clear that Ron Paul didn’t get much of a lift from the Iowa straw poll here.  Paul has just 4.8% of Republicans supporting him, which is equal to the number of people who refused to respond to the pollster’s callers questions.

You can access the poll results here:,-Perry-in-Second-Place.  Taken August 17, Romney leads among California Republicans with 22.2%; “firm unsure” follows with 21.2%; Texas Governor Rick Perry, who had hardly entered the race, is already at 15%; undeclared Sarah Palin is at 10.2%; and the rest follow.

It is still early in the process and California’s primary is so late, in June, that few veteran political observers feel the state will carry much weight in the Republican nomination.  Still, California represents a huge cache of delegate strength, a total of 172 out of 2422 at the 2012 Republican national convention.  Delegates are allotted on a mix of who wins in each Congressional district and statewide.

Chris Christie should inspire Jerry Brown

It looks like the new Governor of the generally Democratic state of New Jersey is doing a heck of a lot better than the sort of new Governor of what has become an always Democratic state of California, and even President Obama, and while Obama is now officially “hopeless,” perhaps Jerry Brown can learn at least a few things from New Jersey Governor Chris Cristie.

While Obama and Jerry Brown are still slap-happy talking new taxes as a fix for our ailing economy, Christie has gone in the opposite (and correct) direction, by building up tax incentive programs aimed at keeping and growing new business in New Jersey.  That means broader employment opportunities, and more business profits in the tax base.  According to one report, through July, New Jersey companies had received $41.1 million in new tax breaks for keeping 6,000 jobs in the state.  That is a big bump against the national and California trends of simply losing more and more jobs each month.  In the same period a year ago, New Jersey had lost 1,400 jobs.  Christie has relentlessly focused on economic issues in the Garden State and has not been afraid to take on public employee unions in the drive to rein in and reform out-of-control public pension mandates.  So far, he has been winning the battle.

No wonder a Monmouth University/NJ last week determined Christie’s approval rating was a 50% with register votes, in comparison to Brown’s 48% in California and Obama’s eye-poppingly low 20% national approval rating, according to Rasmussen.

Christie has not been a “shoot-from-the-hip” critic of Obama, but his style is straightforward nonetheless.  He was not reluctant to call out the President for his failure to put a plan in writing during the national debt-reduction crisis earlier this month.  At the time, Christie said that when he proposed forcing some government workers in New Jersey to pay more for their own benefits, he put the plan in writing so the public could assess it and the debate could be transparent.  In contrast, Obama’s debt ideas were always “back room” chatter and were one of the biggest reasons the negotiations were drawn out to the last minute, helping to disrupt financial markets and causing a lot of grief to a lot of people whose stock based 401K plans sank as a result.  Obama did not want the public to really know what his plan was; Christie put it on paper.

Governor Christie’s policies deserve more than a passing glance from Jerry Brown in getting California back on track, where our companies are fleeing to states like Texas, and the state unemployment rate has reached 11.8%, well above the national average, and New Jersey’s 9.5% rate.  It might be an inspiration to some to know that Christie is achieving his results with a Democrat dominated state legislature and no statewide initiative law.

Governor Christie has made it very clear that he is not a GOP candidate for President in this election.  Nevertheless, this law-and-order former Federal prosecutor is making a national name for himself in building out an economic recovery in New Jersey based on tax relief and belt-tightening by government, something many of us think we could use right here in California.

Ron Paul’s Berlin Wall Problem

Ronald Reagan told the Communists to “tear down” the Berlin Wall.  Ron Paul’s vision is, “oh that’s O.K., you can leave it up.”  This is the fundamental difference between Ronald Reagan and Ron Paul, and when a reporter finally asks Paul the “Berlin Wall” question, his nascent campaign for the Republican nomination for President will appropriately crumble.

Yesterday, August 13, Congressman Ron Paul, a former Republican defector who ran for President on the Libertarian Party platform in 1988 and won less than half of 1% of the vote in 46 states nationwide, came in a strong second place in the Iowa straw poll.  According to John Gizzi of Human Events, who was on the ground, and as evidenced by the earlier nationally televised debate of Republican candidates, Paul did so by repeatedly urging what the main stream media is calling “non-intervention” in foreign affairs.  “Bring the troops home” he yelled in Ames, Iowa, complaining about what some deeper-thinking Republicans refer to as the “cost of freedom” in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Paul screamed that the cost was just too much for the United States budget and economy to bear.  Even Democrat Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who is a socialist, not a Republican straw poll voter, agreed with Paul’s views.

There is no question that Paul just bubbles with crank viewpoints.  After losing a race for U.S. Senate in Texas to Phil Gramm in 1984, he bolted the GOP and ran for president in 1988 on a platform that called for abolition of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Central Intelligence Agency, according to published accounts.  Those abolitional topics have not been as evident in Paul’s more current campaign speeches this election year, which are more focused on abolishing the Federal Reserve Board, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.  (I personally admit I have thought about abolishing the Bank of America when the teller lines get too long. though not all of the FBI, CIA, IMF, and so on.)  But ubiquitous of his viewpoints since his early days in the 1970s as a Congressman, has been his view that U.S. troops should not be stationed overseas no matter what.  And in the case of the Cold War and Berlin, those views simply do not square with a “freedom philosophy.”

While voters in Iowa were casting their ballots in the straw poll, thousands of miles away in Central Europe, freedom loving people in Germany were observing a minute of silence in memory of 125 dead people.  Why?  Well, that same day was coincidentally the 50th anniversary of that sad time in 1961 when troops of a communist dictatorship, the former German Democratic Republic, began construction of a massive reinforced concrete and barbed wire structure that divided the city of Berlin and defined the Cold War.  The 125 who were mourned were East Germans who were killed by machine gun fire by their own government trying to cross over that Wall and flee tyranny in the East for freedom in the West.

Ronald Reagan had a philosophy about Communism.  He opposed it.  And in June of 1987 he stood below the Brandenburg Gate on the free, west side of Berlin and declared to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, “tear down this wall.”  Reagan’s statement was the expression of a life long commitment to the cause of individual liberty.  It was a salvo in the “war of ideas” against the Communist dictatorships who opposed individual liberties and inspired hope in countless millions in the East, in Poland and other countries just brimming for freedom.  But it was a statement also backed up by a strong foreign and defense policy that committed, according to the Heritage Foundation, over 250,000 U.S. troops every year in Germany and Berlin, and important spending on a ballistic missile and nuclear defense strategy that Communism could not compete with.  With Reagan’s statement at the Berlin Wall, backed by his policies as President, the Cold War was essentially won.  By November of 1989, East German residents started tearing down the Wall undeterred by their own broken-down government.  And now pieces of the Wall can be found not only in Berlin, but in places like the Monaco train station, at Reagan’s former ranch in Santa Barbara county, and at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley; all symbolic remembrances of how freedom was threatened by tyranny; and that freedom won out in the end.

So the question is, what was Ron Paul’s view of Ronald Reagan’s foreign policy regarding the Berlin Wall?

Ron Paul may never get asked that question on a national T.V. network, because the liberals who dominate the media are beginning to define him as the “Republican with new ideas” who is “exciting young people”.  They know what they are doing by propping him up: they are trivializing the debate about who the Republican party’s next standard bearer should be, and after the Ames straw poll, things are getting dangerous!

If a reporter ever really does ask Paul the question, Paul’s likely response will be to avoid the question and to trot out a quote attributed to Ronald Reagan praising him, and a bill he introduced in Congress in 2001 to “give every veteran of the Cold War a medal.”  But these wily responses are without substance.  Paul’s Reagan quote is little more than press release verbiage Reagan generously handed-out to just about every incumbent Republican member of Congress facing a tough re-election.  Paul didn’t deserve it.  There is little question that Ron Paul was a vociferous opponent of Reagan’s foreign and defense policies during the 1980s, a policy which literally demolished Communism in Europe and brought millions and millions of people into freedom; freedom that would never have been achieved under Ron Paul’s naive “non-interventionist” views.  If Ron Paul was President instead of Ronald Reagan, have no doubt that America would have lost the Cold War, and countless more would live in tyranny to this day than in freedom.  And the Berlin Wall would still be there.

Ron Paul’s Berlin Wall problem exemplifies the difference not only between Ronald Reagan and himself, but the essential difference between radical libertarianism and true conservatism.  I cannot account for what those 4,000 people were really thinking in Ames when they cast their straw vote ballots.  But I know that the threat of Islamic militants as epitomized by the events of September 11 remain a terrible threat to our way of life in America, and that these threats are in some ways even more directly pointed at U.S. citizens, than in the Cold War.  The response to these threats is not to bring troops home from Afghanistan.  The fix for our economy is not to stop spending money on steps that protect our nation from terrorist attacks.  And surely, the answer to such important questions is not in electing Ron Paul our next president.


Will debt crisis bust Obama’s California ATM?

Thursday night’s Republican Presidential debate in Iowa appropriately started out with questions about one of the biggest political events of the year: the downgrading of our nation’s credit rating for the first time in history. While all the GOP candidates snapped at that “red meat,” and blamed liberal policies, the guy who as President presided over this great fiscal embarrassment, Barack Obama, probably sat in his home office in the White House mulling over his press conference on the same day, where he blamed conservatives in the GOP for the downgrade instead.
The national debt downgrade last week was bracketed by topsy-turvey financial markets. This week, billions have been lost by average investors’ retirement plans while billions were made by opportunistic professional traders on the drastic, day-by-day swings in the stock market. Respected economists are making dire predictions that the United States will sink into a second recession, that the real estate market will not recover for years, that unemployment will rise perhaps above 10%.
So all that said, as our economy is demolished, is California just going to continue to be Barack Obama’s campaign’s Automated Teller Machine?
Late last April, Obama made a two-day, six stop tour of our Golden State that purportedly raised him $7 million for his 2012 re-election campaign. Liberal political analyst Sherri Bebitch Jeffe said that California had become “Obama’s ATM”, regardless of sinking polls outside California.
That was then.
Since April, and after the Administration’s deserved “high” for getting bin Laden, a national economy that was already in the tank has come terribly close to completely imploading. Politicians in Washington hardly were able to cobble a last minute plan together to deal with our country’s terrible spending problem, as Obama pestered them, pushing more taxes on them, and on a sick economy, as a road to economic recovery. It is a miracle they got a compromise that didn’t include Obama’s new taxes – yet. His debt plan is the moral equivalent of “bleeding” as a remedy for anemia.
I wonder how much money those big donors to Obama in California have lost in the last few days with him as President. What good is an invitation to a White House dinner if your corporate jet is in receivership?
I also wonder whether the majority of the 9.4% of unemployed people in our state, whom research shows were Obama voters in 2008, will be showing up again at the polls in 2012 for him with the same enthusiasm, assuming they still have cars, auto insurance and gas money to get to the voting booths.
Jeffe predicts that Obama will still win California, no matter. It will be a sad statement of self-deprecation of Cailfornians if that happens. But I’ll bet Obama won’t raise $7 million from rich liberals the next time he comes here, because even rich liberals lose money on the stock market.

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-Jim Lacy